The cover art of Vanishing Breed?s debut album (there was an EP before on Static Caravan) pretty much summarizes what this album sounds like. Birds in formation fly presumably south for their well-earned winter rest. But there?s also a comic style beach and waves. If I?m speaking in miracles, let me explain.
?Between Arrival and Departure? is sometimes melancholic, other times an outright summer album to be listened to on a sunny day on the beach. ?No Return Beyond this Point?, the song opening the CD is a good example for the melancholic side of the album. Alexander Holmes (aka Vanishing Breed) sings about his wish to be put to rest in the sea. It?s an ode to the loneliness that seamen experience while being on the ocean for a while. The lyrics match the mood of the music in just the right way. ?Whichever Way You Build a Road? is equally effective. On that song Holmes sort of sounds like Ben Chasny in a better mood. It?s kind of a rip-off of the Six Organs song ?Procession of Cherry Blossom Spirits? with its picked guitar melody and a cello drone, but so what. The sitar solo in the middle of ?Whichever Way You Build a Road? is absolutely great.
The summery side of ?Between Arrival and Departure? is present on songs like ?Specialday?, ?Fire, Fire? or ?The Missing Link.? On these songs, Holmes incorporates African style guitar playing and French Carribean Zouk rhythms, which works only in some instances. ?Humane Beings? for example is going on my nerves after two minutes. My favorite track on the album is ?Fire, Fire.? It sounds like Harry Belafonte, but has this insane dancehall beat that makes the song sound incredibly unique.
What keeps this CD from being a masterpiece is its inconsistency. The songs don?t fit together perfectly. The mood changes are a bit too abrupt for my taste. Still, there?s more than a few excellent tunes on this albums. The title track, which is at the same time the last on the album if you don?t count the 20 seconds of marine sounds on Track 10, also builds a good bridge to the beginning of the album. There?s a lot of situations like crossing the ocean on a plane or entering the moving truck before you move to a different city that I imagine ?Between Arrival and Departure? to be perfect for. 7/10 -- Stephan Bauer (27 June, 2006)